ms explained

Hi everybody,

I would like to know how long anyone has had ms for?

I have had relasping remitting ms for 2 years,well that was when i was diagnosed,and how often relaspes happen.As i think i have had it for four years or more that is when the problems with my legs started.I would just like to know how often people get relapses as touch wood i don’t think i have had a relapse for four years.Can anyone explain anymore about ms to me.


I was diagnosed in 1998 after my first big relapse in 1997, but long after my first attack which was in 1984.

How long relapses happen varies massively. Some people have enough to get diagnosed and then never have another one. Some people have them frequently, every year. The rest of us are somewhere in between. But how often we get them, how badly we get them, how long they last, the damage they do, etc, varies between people and also within the same person.

I tend to have bad years when I have lots of relapses so I make some changes in my life (go part-time; start Copaxone; stop work completely; start Rebif) and I then have some good years when hardly anything of note happens. I’m just coming out of a bad couple of years and am hoping for the normal good years now (at least!).

The best way to learn about MS is to have a look at this site & the MS Trust site and order whatever booklets that you think you would like to read. If you are into research, I recommend the MSRC news feeds as well as the multiple sclerosis research blogspot (you can set up a RSS feed straight to your email box for both of these). Some MS nurses run sessions on understanding MS too - you could call your nurse and ask. Another way is to join your local MSS branch - there will be people there with lots of experience of dealing with MS (although they aren’t always very up to date, in my experience anyway!).

If you’re in Hillingdon (London) then you can come to my group and I’ll fill you in as best I can

There’s a lot of info out there on the internet. Try not to get overwhelmed! And try to stick to the main websites in the beginning at least; there are a lot of fruitcakes out there!

Karen x

“high signal” means paler than it should be. (The computer works out the shades of gray from the strength of the signal the scanner picks up. The higher the signal, the paler the image.)

“white matter of the brain” is the inner part of the brain that contains all the connections between the outer parts of the brain (the “gray matter”).

In MS, high signal areas are commonly called white spots or lesions. They are caused by demyelination (damage to the myelin sheath of the nerves which form the white matter) which is one of the main causes of symptoms in MS. The white matter of the brain is the main place that MS lesions are found although they also happen in the gray matter. Myelin is a coating on nerves that allows signals to travel along the nerves quicker. When myelin is damaged, the nerve doesn’t work properly any more. If it is badly damaged, it dies.

Different conditions tend to cause different looking lesions and differently located lesions. So having a lesion in the white matter of the brain does not necessarily mean MS. Lots of things cause lesions.


Karen x

No problem :slight_smile:

If you or your husband can tell me what you want to know, I will do my best to help.

If doing things makes you feel worse, then it’s time to stop. Pushing yourself when you are feeling really bad will only make things worse. Rest!!!